Morel, an elusive and delicious fungus is a wonderful commodity found in the valley of
Kashmir, where it’s locally known as ‘Kann-e-gucchè’. It is considered to be a precious
commodity among chefs and mushroom fanatics even though it costs ten times their common cuisines. Not only is it exotic but also a highly sought after edible fungus all over the world.
Morels, the first sign of life after a forest fire, are tricksters hiding in plain sight, luring deeper into the woods, as if they were playing some sort of blind man’s bluff and the person who catches them, wins the game.
It’s the fruit of a fungus sprouting in the humus soil of forests, having a very short period to grow; making them extravagantly priced. Morels, usually growing on logs of woods, stumps, or moist soil, are very fragile and require a lot of effort to withhold their pleated honeycomb structure. They have a nutty and meaty taste and occur in a variety of colors ranging from yellow to dark brown, with dark-colored ones being stronger in taste India is one of the largest producers of Morels in the world. In the northern parts of India, morels
are grown twice a year with Kashmir being the major morel producing state. These are one of the sources of income for the rural folks and tribals in Kashmir, who amass these rare fungi from the woods. They are sold locally, nationally, and internationally at extremely high prices.
Prized for their strong flavour, morels are one of the costliest and absolutely loved ingredients of the culinary world. It’s not the flavor that makes it worth a pretty penny, but the fact that it can not be cultivated easily. These are used by Kashmiri natives in their cuisine, adding a distinct flavor to it. Despite their marvelous flavor, morels are considered to be less of an outlier in the world of fungi than the easily plowable table and cremini mushrooms.
Morels are unpredictable in their growth, prompting people to forage for them even harder
thereby, making them an exotic commodity. For their sheer decadence and exclusivity, Morels have been called the ‘Ambrosia and Manna of Heaven’.
Qunain Mushtaq Rather